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BUILD YOUR OWN C-BAND which supports the entire dish.

(b) The parabolic reflector.

(c) The electromechanical arrange-
ment to move the dish in the horizontal
and vertical planes to track the satellite.
(This arrangement is generally used in a
S. DAS GUPTA dish of 3.7 metre and above sizes.)
(d) LNB mounting arrangement.
Base structure should be strong

atellite TV reception has gained covered by a satellite downlink antenna) enough to withstand the entire load of

much popularity in India over measured in terms of effective isotropic the dish. To withstand the wind load dur-
the last three decades, specially af-
ter the live telecasting of the Gulf
war by CNN. Both the S-band and C-band
satellite signals are available to India.
C-band signals are beamed from various
satellites like Asiasat, Aralisat, and
Insat 2B.
In India, the C-band reception is much
more popular compared to the S-band.
The popular satellite programmes which
can be received on C-band include Star
TV, Zee TV, PTV2, CNN, ATN, Sun TV,
and Doordarshan. Besides, programmes
from Russia, China, France, and Saudi
Arabia are also available on C-band chan-
nels, although their language is a bar-

Fig. 1: Footprint of Star TV (Southern)

Fundamentals of C-band reception
You are aware that to receive any satel- radiated ing heavy wind or storms, the base struc-

lite signals, a dish antenna is required. p o w e r ture should be firmly grounded in con-
The mechanical aspects and the dish-ori- (EIRP) in crete.
entation principles to receive satellite sig- dBW (deci- The parabolic reflector. It is the most
nals in S-band and C-band remain basi- bels w.r.t. important part of the dish. The reflector
cally the same. The C-band downlink fre- one watt) of
quencies range from 3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz Fig. 2: Feed horn

Asiasat sat- TABLE I

The direct reception system comprises: ellite (transmitting Star TV programmes) Relationship between F/d and X
(i) Dish antenna over India is given in Fig.1. Star TV rec- F/d X (mm)
(ii) LNB (low-noise block converter) ommends the following sizes of dish an- 0.42 0
and feed horn assembly. tennae for various regions: 0.40 5
(iii) Satellite receiver. 0.38 10
Personal Cable distribution 0.36 15
Dish antenna: There are different
receiving system 0.34 20
types of dish antennae (e.g. fibre and
mesh) available in various sizes ranging TABLE II
from 1.8 metres to 4.8 metres. The size of Delhi 1.8 mtr 3.0 mtr
Mumbai 2.0 mtr 3.0 mtr Specification of the DBS tuner
the dish is dependent on the size of the with FM demodulator
distribution network and the strength of Calcutta 3.0 mtr 4.8 mtr
Receiving frequency 950 MHz to 1750 MHz
the signal. Chennai 3.7 mtr 6.0 mtr Input impedance 75-ohm
The area where the signal is weak In order to maintain optimum carrier- IF 479-5 MHz
Channel select (SY) By electronic tuning
requires a large dish, and vice-versa. The to-noise ratio (C/N ratio), a larger size of
ODU supply in-and-out 18-25V DC
strength of the signal can also be dish is required for the larger cable dis- Tuning voltage 0.6V to 20V DC
recognised from the footprints of differ- tribution network. A dish consists of the IF bandwidth 27 MHz (3 dB down)
ent satellites. As an example, the foot- following parts: Output impedance 75-ohm
print (i.e the geographic area on ground (a) The stand or the base structure Demodulation (SY) PLL

fields—electric field and magnetic field—

which are mutually at right angle to each
other and also at right angle to the direc-
tion of motion.
In vertical polarisation, the electric
field is along the North-South axis of the
In horizontal polarisation, the electric
field is at 90o to the North-South axis of
the satellite.
In circular polarisation the electric
field advances like a cork screw. It can be
either left-hand circular (LHC) or right-
hand circular (RHC).

To convert this circularly polarised
waves into linearly polarised waves (ver-
tical or horizontal), a 6.4mm thick fibre
glass piece is fixed in the feed horn along
its diameter. For example, CNN trans-
Fig. 3(a): Block diagram of C-band satellite receiver
mission has circular polarisation, and

ES side
(b) Pol-
arator: In-

feed horn,
there is a

p r o b e ,
which is re-
q u i r e d
to move ac-
cording to
therefore the fibre glass piece is essential
to get maximum signal pick-up. On the
other hand, Star TV signal is vertically
polarised, and hence the fibre glass piece
is not required. It should in fact be re-
moved to avoid 3dB loss.
For maximum signal pick-up, the
probe should be in line with the
polarisation of the signal it is receiving.
Probe movement is therefore required for
the polari- alignment purpose. If the probe is aligned
sation of the to receive a horizontally polarised signal
satellite sig- and the signal being received is vertically
nals. polarised, the probe has to be moved
Fig. 3(b): Pin out of DBS timer with FM demodulator F o r through 90o for maximum signal pick-up.

receives the signals from the satellite and large dish assemblies, a motorised This will give a crystal-clear picture. This
focuses them to the focal point where the polarator is prefered. The motor used in can be done either by trim control or with
feed horn is positioned. The focused sig- a polarator has three terminals: +5V, the help of V/H switch, with the trim con-
nal picked up by the feed horn is fed into ground, and pulse. trol in its centre position.
the LNB, which is mounted on feed horn The motor responds to the width of (c) LNB. The LNB stands for low-noise
itself. The dish antenna kits are now-a- the pulse supplied by the receiver. The block converter. LNB comprises an ampli-

days readily available and can be easily pulsewidth can be varied from 0.8 to 2.8 fier and a frequency converter. The sig-
assembled. ms with the help of the ‘trim’ controls in nals in C-band (3.7 GHz to 4.7 GHz), which
LNB assembly. The LNB assembly the receiver and the position of the V/H are received and reflected by the dish, are
consists of the following three parts: the (vertical/horizontal polarisation) switch. In fed to the amplifier inside LNB via the
scalar ring, polarator, and LNB. ‘H’ position, the probe can rotate by al- feed horn probe, as mentioned earlier. The
(a) The scaler ring: There are two most 140o. For a stream of pulses with signal-to-noise ratio of the amplifier has
types of scalar rings, namely, adjustable fixed width, the probe position will be to be rather good because the received
and fi fixed. The probe will move only when the signals are very weak. The lower the noise,
(i) Adjustale scalar ring: In this, the pulsewidth is changed. Keeping the ‘trim’ the better will be picture quality.
scalar ring slides on the feed horn and can control in mean position and changing the The converter inside the LNB com-
be positioned to suit the focal distance to V/H switch from V to H or H to V results prises a fixed frequency oscillator running
diameter ratio (F/d) of the dish (refer in pulsewidth changes in one step, en- at 5150 MHz, which beats with the in-
Fig. 2). The focal distance ‘X’ is related to abling the probe to rotate through 90o. To coming signal frequency. The difference
the F/d ratio, as shown in Table I. know as to why the probe movement is frequencies obtained range from 5150 -
ii) Fixed scalar ring: Here, the scalar required, we have to know about the 4200 = 950 MHz, to 5150 – 3700 = 1450
ring is an integral part of the feed horn ‘polarisation’. MHz, i.e. the input frequency range of
and the distance ‘X’ is fixed. It may not There are three types of polarisations: 4.2 GHz to 3.7 GHz is converted to 950 to
always suit the F/d ratio of the dish be- (a) vertical, (b) horizontal, and (c) circu- 1450 MHz range. The gain of LNB is typi-
ing used. Hence it is not preferred. lar. Electromagnetic waves have two cally around 50 dB.

Another important
parameter of the LNB is
its noise temperature.
The noise equivalent tem-
perature of most of the
good-quality LNBs ranges
from 26 oK to 40 o K (K
stands for kelvin). The
picture on a 26oK LNB
will show less noise com-
pared to that of a 40oK
LNB, especially when the
received signal is weak.
Theoretically, the noise

power is related to the
temperature as follows:
Noise power = KTB
where K is the
Boltsman’s constant =

ES 1.381 x 10-23 T is tempera-

ture in oK; and B is the
system bandwidth in Hz.
A coaxial cable con-
nected between the LNB
and receiver serves two
purposes: (i) it feeds +18V
DC to the LNB, to power
the amplifier and con-
verter circuits inside
LNB, and (ii) the con-
verted frequency (950
MHz to 1,450 MHz) is fed
from LNB to ‘C-band’ re-
C-band receiver.

The main function of the

receiver is to select a par-
ticular channel from the
converted block of fre-
quencies (between 950
and 1450 MHz) and re-

trieve the audio and video

signal information. The
Fig: 4: Circuit diagram of C-band satellite receiver

audio and video output

signals are finally fed to
the TV monitor’s audio-
and video-input termi-
nals, respectively. If the
TV does not have sepa-
rate audio and video in-
put points, then feed the
audio and video output
signals from receiver to
an RF modulator which
modulates the RF and
provides a modulated
VHF RF output (corre-
sponding to anyone of the
channels in the VHF

10 of IC1.
Audio IF fre-
quency can be
varied by varying
the voltage of
VCO (voltage-con-
trolled oscillator)
of the IC. The
VCO voltage is
controlled with
the help of
potmeter VR2,
which is con-
nected to pin 13 of

IC1 and acts as
an audio IF fre-
Fig. 5: Power supply unit Varactor diode D1
(MV2109) is con-
band from channel 2 to channel 12) to PARTS LIST nected across pins 12 and 13 through ca-
operate the domestic receiver directly.
The block diagram of a satellite re-
ceiver is shown in Fig. 3(a).
The coaxial cable from LNB is con-
nected to the tuner (which contains RF
and IF modules) through ‘F’ socket. To
simplify the design for an average con-
structor, the Mitsumi TSU2-EOIP tuner
is used in the circuit. Pinout of the tuner
are shown in Fig. 3(b) while its specifica-
IC4, IC7
T1 - T6
- NE564 phase locked loop
- NE592 video amplifier
- NE555 timer
- 7805, 5V regulator
- 7818, 18V regulator
- 7812, 12V regulator
- 2SC2458 npn transistor
- MV2109 varicap diode
D2, D5, D6 - 1N4148 switching diode
D3, D4
D7 - D14
- OA79 detector diode
- 1N4007, 1-amp silicon diode
pacitors C9 and C11.
Audio bandwidth can also be adjusted

C1, C7, C11, C18
C21, C27
C28, C29, C44
- 1kpF ceramic disc

C2, C3, C4,26 - 56pF ceramic disc

C5, C6, C9, C13
C15, C31
- 0.01µF ceramic
- 1µF, 25V electrolytic
LED - Red LED C10 - 27pF ceramic disk
tions are given in Table II. It is a C12 - 18pF ceramic disk
Resistors (all 1/4W, ± 5% carbon, unless
readymade tuner with tunable range from stated otherwise) C14, C16,C24 - 22µF, 25V electrolytic
950 MHz to 1450 MHz, giving baseband R1, R3, R11 - 220 ohm C17 - 68pF ceramic disk
output directly with audio sub-carrier. R2, R16, R20 C19, C20 - 150pF ceramic disk
The tuner module is tuned with a volt- R27 - 1 kilo-ohm C22 - 10pF ceramic disk
R4, R19 - 1.8 kilo-ohm C23 - 0.1µF ceramic disk

age (VT) between 0 and 20V and requires C25 - 220µ/25V electrolytic
R5 - 390 ohm
no high/low band switch. It has a termi- R6 - 1.2 kilo-ohm C30 - 0.22µF ceramic disk
nal for applying the supply voltage for R7, R8, R12 C32 - 100µF, 25V electrolytic
LNB, which is carried to the LNB via the R17, R35 - 2.2 kilo-ohm C33 - 68µF, 25V electrolytic
R9 - 120 ohm C34 - 2200µF, 50V electrolytic
down lead, coaxial cable type RG-8 or C35 - 3300µF, 50V electrolytic
R10 - 5.6 kilo-ohm
RG-11. The module itself is fed +12V and R13, R14, R15 C43 - 10 kpF ceramic disk

+5V DC for its operation. The complete R25,R26, R39 - 10 kilo-ohm C37-C40, C45
circuit diagram of the receiver is shown R18 - 180 ohm C46, C36 - 0.1µF, 400V, ceramic disk
in Fig. 4. R21, R33 - 100 ohm C41 - 33 µF, 40V electrolytic
R22, R24 - 150 ohm C42 - 100 µF, 25V electrolytic
The baseband output from the tuner
R23 - 330 ohm Miscellaneous:
module is fed to the audio stage, video R28 - 470 ohm - VU meter (250µA)
stage, and signal-strength indication cir- R29 - 82 ohm - Mitsumi tuner (TSU2-
cuit. R30 - 47 kilo-ohm EOIP)
Audio section. It consists of three R31 - 270 ohm - PCB
R32 - 1.5 kilo-ohm - Chassis, knobs, on/off
stages: sound intermediate frequency
R34 - 8.2 kilo-ohm switch
(SIF) stage, sound driver stage, and sound R36 - 120 kilo-ohm - Heat-sink for regulators
output stage. R37, R44 - 82 ohm L1, L2, L3 - 4.7µH inductor (fixed)
The audio signal from the baseband R38 - 100 kilo-ohm L4 - 2.2µH inductor (fixed)
output of tuner module is separated with R40, R41 - 560 ohm - 3-pin screw type connector
R42 - 15 ohm for motorised feed horn pulse
the help of an LC (inductance-capacitance) R43 - 68 ohm X1 - 230V AC primary to
tuned wave-trap circuit comprising capaci- VR1, VR2, 17V AC, 1-amp and
tors C1 through C4 and inductors L1 VR7, VR8 - 4.7 kilo-ohm linear 24V AC, 1-amp secondary
through L3. SIF signal is fed to pin 6 potentiometer transformer
VR3, VR4, S1 - DPDT rocker switch
(limiter section) of IC1 (NE564). The posi-
VR5, VR6 - 4.7 kilo-ohm presets S2 - On/off switch
tive DC voltage is fed to pins 1, 3, 9, and

module is fed via resistor

R17 (2.2 kilo-ohm) to the
base of video amplifier com-
prising transistor T3
(2SC2458). Capacitor C17
and resistor R19 are used to
suppress the interference.
R20 (1k) is used for emitter
Video signal is taken
from the emitter of transis-
tor T3 and fed to video de-
tector IC2 (NE592) through
an LC network comprising

capacitors C18 through C20
and inductor L4 (a video
take-off coil). Pin 1 of IC is
taken as reference input and
pin 14 is taken as signal in-
put. A suitable positive bias

ES is given to pin 1 and pin 14

through resistors R22 to R24.
The output is taken from
pin 8 of IC (positive video)
and fed to the video driver
as well as the output stage
comprising transistors T4
and T5. After amplification
of video signal, 1V peak-to-
peak video output is taken
from the emitter of transis-
tor T5 through capacitor C25
and resistor R29. Potmeter
VR4 (4.7k) is a video gain
control, which is used to ad-

just the contrast of picture.

Signal-strength indica-
tor. To indicate the signal
strength of the incoming sig-
nal, a 250µA ammeter (or
VU meter used in stereo

decks) is employed. To drive

the meter, an amplifier com-
prising transistor T6
(2SC2458) is used. The sig-
nal from baseband output of
tuner module is fed to the
base of transistor T6
through resistor R18 and ca-
Fig. 6: PCB layout for the circuits in Figs 4 and 5 (track-side)
pacitor C26. Positive bias is
with the help of potmeter VR1 (audio sistors T1 and T2 (2SC2458), which de- given to the base of transistor through
B/W control) by changing the voltage at velop 1-volt peak-to-peak audio output resistor R30 (47k). The high-frequency AC
pin 2 (phase comparator section) of IC. across resistor R16. output is taken from the collector of tran-
Potmeter VR1 generally changes the Potmeter VR3 acts as an audio gain sistor T6 through capacitor C28 and fed
phase of the audio signal. control. to the voltage doubler circuit comprising
After processing of the audio IF sig- Video section: This is divided into four diodes D3 and D4 and capacitors C28
nal, including its amplification and recti- stages, namely, video amplifier, video de- and C29. The output is fed to
fication, an AF output is available at pin tector, video driver, and video-output microammeter via potmeter VR5, which
14. The audio output is further amplified stage. can be adjusted for convenient deflection.
by transistor amplifiers built around tran- Signal from baseband output of tuner A double-sided PCB has been used,


Fig. 7: Component layout for the PCB of Fig. 6

IC1 (NE 564)
Pin no: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 After completion of assembly and con-
Voltage (V): 7.5 1.5 1 6.5 6.5 3 1 0 struction, check the +12V and +18V DC
Pin no: 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 from power-supply regulator, before con-
Voltage (V): 1 4.5 1 2 2 4 1.5 0.5 necting it to the PCB. Now connect both
IC2 (NE592) the supplies to PCB and check that +18V
Pin 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 8 10
Volt 9V 0V 9V 8.5V 0V 0V 9V 9V 0V 12V
is available at the input ‘F’ socket of tuner
Pin 11 12 13 14 module. Then connect the dish/LNB lead
Volt 8.5V 8.5V 0V 9V to the tuner and connect the audio and
Transistors video output from receiver either to the
Base Emitter Collector modulator or to the audio- and video-in-
T1 3.2V 3.2V 7V put terminals of the TV set.
T2 7V 7V 12V
T3 8.2V 8.2V 12V
Switch ‘on’ the receiver and adjust

T4 7V 7V 12V channel-selection potentiometer VR1 to
T5 7V 7V 12V select the desired channel. Audio can be
T6 2V 0V 2V fine tuned using potmeters VR1 and VR2.
Audio amplitude can be adjusted with the
Fig. 8 with component side serving as help of potmeter VR3. Picture contrast is
a ground plane. From component to be adjusted using potmeter VR4.

ES side, copper foil has been etched

from around all holes except
those connected to ground. Ac-
tual-size solder-side track layout
is shown in Fig. 6. Component
layout for the PCB is shown in
Fig. 7. The author’s prototype is
shown in Fig. 8.
In case the receiver does not work
properly, refer to the circuit diagram and
check its connections. Check thoroughly
all the connections and resolder if you
find any dry joints. Finally, check the volt-
ages at the pins of IC5 and transistors,
as given in Table III, for any major
discrepencies. ❏